I have always liked Jimmy Fallon. I never thought of him as the best stand-up comedian or comedian, for that matter, but he makes me laugh or amuses me often enough to not tune out when he is on. Others are turned off by his seemingly too ordinary stance. He breaks up during sketches and too much of a hipster when it comes to his looks. I didn’t enjoy his acting stint as much. I thought it was a territory he shouldn’t bother with. He is not an actor.
When he got the late night gig I was more than happy for him. I always knew that for some someone who has that much talent, he still unable to establish a world he can say is his. I thought he did okay in the first show considering and I admired him even more for taking up Robert De Niro, an actor known for being difficult. Some nerves he got over there. He was a bit jumpy, a bit nervous and it showed. However, come Wednesday, he was way better. The nervousness was gone and I could see he was starting to have more fun with what he was doing. His interview with Cameron Dias and the succeeding dance-off was hilarious.
What I noticed is the fine job he was doing with his interviews rather than his monologue. His interviews were “natural” for lack of a better term. He doesn’t seem to have the well researched and best set ups that a Leno and Letterman provides. He comes across as this boyish spectator who is simply interested in knowing things about or from his guests. I am not sure if this is what the late night viewers are used to. He seems young. There is a fun vibe. Like he is simply happy to be in that seat, he is enjoying this. It’s like watching a kid run around in circles the whole day. You’re just happy to be with him.
Even his skits are like that. There was the space train movie with DeNiro or the one with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appearing from the audience to have a photo with Fallon. Oh and there was this bit with a Bon Jovi fan. Fallon challenged her to a karaoke of a Bon Jovi song and Bon Jovi appeared during the chorus that floored the fan. It didn’t quite happen the way everyone was expecting it to be but it was fun. Again, like watching a kid set up some game. The result is never what you expected it to be but sometimes it is better and always, it is funny.
Even the band is a different from all the other sophisticated bands of the other late night talk show. They have not been fully utilized yet but I am sure the writers and Fallon will find their groove eventually to make them more a part of the show than they are now.
I am not saying that Fallon is THE late night talk show that will succeed Leno and Letterman. It is too early in his career for anyone to determine that but he is doing okay. In fact, he is good enough to make us not think about that part of his future. He makes us enjoy him and this moment.
Not bad. Not bad at all.